This morning in metals news: the U.S. announced it will adjust its tariffs on E.U. products imposed last year; the U.S.’s renewable energy consumption surpassed that of coal for the first time since before 1885; and metals prices have retraced slightly this week.
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U.S. adjusts tariffs on E.U.
Last year, a WTO ruling authorized the U.S. to impose up to $7.5 billion worth in tariffs on E.U. products. The ruling came as a result of the long-running saga over government subsidies for Airbus in Europe.
Yesterday, the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced the U.S. will adjust the previously announced tariffs, citing the scope of the E.U.’s countermeasures that hit against U.S. subsidies of Boeing.
“In September, 2020 the EU was authorized to impose tariffs affecting $4 billion in U.S. trade as a result of related WTO litigation,” the USTR said in a release. “In implementing its tariffs, however, the EU used trade data from a period in which trade volumes had been drastically reduced due to the horrific effects on the global economy from the COVID-19 virus. The result of this choice was that Europe imposed tariffs on substantially more products than would have been covered if it had utilized a normal period. Although the United States explained to the EU the distortive effect of its selected time period, the EU refused to change its approach.”
U.S. renewables consumption surpasses coal
Moving on from tariffs, marking a major energy milestone, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported U.S. renewables consumption surpassed that of coal in 2019.
Renewables consumption surpassed coal for the first time since before 1885.
The decline of coal consumption for electricity over the last decade contributed to the milestone. Coal consumption in 2019 fell by nearly 15% year over year, the EIA added. Meanwhile, renewable energy consumption grew by 1%.
Metals price holiday slowdown
Metals prices have enjoyed a surge of upward momentum throughout the second half of this year.
However, amid the holiday season, many metals have cooled off slightly.
The LME nickel price held flat for most of the past week. Nickel closed Wednesday at $16,838 per metric ton, down from $17,070 per metric ton.
Meanwhile, LME aluminum slipped from $2,025 per metric ton earlier this week to $1,997 per metric ton Wednesday.
Furthermore, the LME copper price traded flat this past week. The price slipped from $7,854 per metric ton to $7,815 per metric ton.
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